Whisky Advocate

Your whisk(e)y-related holiday gift recommendations?

December 7th, 2009

We talk enough about whisky, but what about the things that enhance our whisky-drinking pleasure (books, glassware, water pitchers, etc)?

Excluding whisk(e)y for the moment, what have you used and enjoyed that can you recommend for the whisk(e)y enthusiast this holiday season?

Of course, the first item on everyone’s list should be a gift subscription to Malt Advocate, especially since I am offering a “two years for the price of one” deal here until the end of the year. 🙂 But what else can you recommend?

20 Responses to “Your whisk(e)y-related holiday gift recommendations?”

  1. 1) Whisky stones – for those who like their whisky cold and strong.

    2) A set of Glencairn glasses. One of the best ways to improve your tasting experience.

    3) Quality reading materials (Malt Advocate, reference books, etc.).

    4) Wine Preserver (compressed inert gas) to preserve your finer bottles.

    5) Some cigars selected to pair well with the recipient’s favourite dram(s).

    6) Tickets to an upcoming tasting event.

  2. John Hansell says:

    Luke, I use the compressed inert gas called “Private Preserve” and it works very well for me. In fact, I like it so much, we sell it on our website. Here’s the link for anyone interested.

  3. Luke, looks like you nailed it.

    Expanding on your third idea, I recommend Ian Macilwain’s book, Bottled History. Ian takes you away from the umpty-thousand dollar new releases and blitz of rating numbers. He puts you in the old distillery and with the people who made the spirit. His pictures and their stories combine to offer whisky buffs a real treasure, and, as Ian suggests, to be enjoyed with your favorite dram.

    John’s store also sells Ian’s book.

  4. Eric Falardeau says:

    Whiskey and Philosophy: A Small Batch of Spirited Ideas (Paperback)
    edited by Fritz Allhoff and Marcus P. Adams

    A wonderful reading!

  5. B.J. Reed says:

    Actually, my wife “bought” me a built-in whisky cabinet last year and we converted a small sun room in our house into my “whisky” room to house my single malt, pitchers, glasses, books, and wonderful pictures taken over the years particularly of distillery visits, whiskyfest trips and, of course, tastings at the Dell.

    BTW the tasting last Monday with George Grant was terrific 🙂

  6. John Lamond says:

    Apart from the obvious – a copy of The Malt Whisky File,
    A membership of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society,
    A tour of Scotland and its distilleries with Caroline Dewar,
    The whisky stones as already mentioned – but only for the world’s hotter areas, it doesn’t need cooling down in Scotland,
    A course where you can make your own whisky – at Bladnoch, Loch Ewe or Abhainn Dearg,
    and, for the Donald Trumps of this world, somewhere like Tamdhu which is about to slip into mothballs again and whose owners will, I am sure, be open to offers.

  7. Jeff H. says:

    Coincidentally, I just posted a whisky gift list last night, and I DID include Malt Advocate with a link to your holiday deal. 🙂

    Definitely some great books out there. For something different, I highly recommend Hans Offringa’s Whisky & Jazz. It sounds like I need to add “Whiskey and Philosophy” as well.


  8. John Hansell says:

    Thanks Jeff. And you have some good ideas over there too!

  9. JD says:

    What about a nice decanter? Something without too much lead content, so you can leave the spirit in it for a while. It’s a pretty pointless product–the bottles that whiskey comes in are perfectly good, after all–but in old movies everyone always keeps the good stuff in a decanter, usually on the bar table with a soda siphon and a few glasses. There’s no shortage of decanters on the web. Can anybody recommend a good one?

  10. B.J. Reed says:


    Have a really nice Lagavulin decanter I got there in 1998 and it has actual Lagavulin in it! – Also have a smaller one from Royal Lochnagar – Really good idea!

  11. butephoto says:

    Hip flasks – always handy for fishing trips!

  12. Luke says:

    A set of Glencairn glasses – mandatory!

  13. Frankly, I think a great gift (that isn’t whisky) or a subscription to MaltAdvocate (which btw, this past issue was really standout great) that I’ve used that has enhanced my drinking pleasure was the giving nature of others.

    Whisk(e)y is still extremely intimidating to learn about, try, etc. In the past, when friends put up with my mispronouncing “islay” for the 30th time, and patiently explained various intricacies of history and process, it meant a great deal. This type of education, obviously shared over a dram, is probably one of the more valuable gifts you can give or receive.

    I’m not quite sure how to tell your spouse or friend etc. how to get you that, but if you’re reading MaltAdvocate magazine, maybe you can be more of a giver in that sense.

    A journal or databasing program if that’s your thing to record your thoughts on what you taste would also be pretty great.

  14. John Hansell says:

    Great comment, Stronglikecask. Giving is great anytime, but even more so this time of the year. Whisky friends are great too!

  15. MrTH says:

    Any of Robin Laing’s three whisky-oriented cd’s (Angel’s Share, Water Of Life, One For The Road). The man is our whisky bard, definitely underappreciated.

  16. John Hansell says:

    Luke, yeah, I like all the Glencairn stuff–glasses and decanters.

  17. Abinash says:

    Don’t have any ideas. Instead, because this MA deal is mentioned so often, I just remind that you promised to contact me regarding that. I’m sure it was my fault when I was unsuccessful to order based on your advice. But because I have been promised something, I am not going to try again.

  18. John Hansell says:

    Abinash, someone from the Malt Advocate staff will contact you today. Sorry for the delay.

  19. Abinash says:

    Everything ok now concerning 2 for 1 subscription. Thanks for contacting me and sorry for (maybe) sounding a little frustrated in my previous comment.

  20. John Hansell says:

    No worries, Abinash. Happy ending.

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